On the 17th of September, H. E. Mr. Vitalii Moskalenko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the Republic of Bulgaria,

gave a state reception at the Boyana residence on the occasion of the national holiday of the country – the Independence Day. On the 24th of August 1991 Ukraine was declared Independent from the USSR. The event was attended by the Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria Kristian Vigenin, the President of the Republic of Bulgaria (1997-2002) Petar Stoyanov, the Deputy Minister of the Interior Stefan Balabanov, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Friendship Group Bulgaria-Ukraine Valeri Simeonov, the Honorary Consuls of Ukraine in Plovdiv, Ruse and Burgas – Dimitar Georgiev, Plamen Bobokov and Dimitar Karanenov, ambassadors, diplomats, representatives of Bulgarian institutions, business circles, the media, the Ukrainian diaspora, friends of Ukraine.

In his welcoming address, the Ambassador congratulated all the present guests on the 28th anniversary of the restoration of Ukraine's independence and emphasized the historical and contemporary ties between our two countries:

This is the fourth Ukrainian state to be a direct successor to the three previous ones: the Ukrainian People's Republic, which, for the first time a hundred years ago, established diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Bulgaria; Bogdan Khmelnitsky’s Cossack-Hetman State; and the medieval Kievan Rus - Ukraine, which has interstate contacts with the First Bulgarian Kingdom.

It is in the Middle Ages that the foundations of strong Ukrainian-Bulgarian ties are laid, because the holy equal apostles Cyril and Methodius gave the alphabet to the Ukrainian people. And the Ukrainians deeply respect them. In the center of Kiev there is a majestic sculptural composition of the spiritual inspirers and leaders of the Kiev state, namely Princess Olga, Saint Apostle Andrew the First-Called and the Enlighteners Cyril and Methodius. If we believe in the beautiful legend of the origin of Princess Olga, then three of these titans are Bulgarians.

H. E. Mr. Vitalii Moskalenko, stated that today Ukraine is confidently moving along the path of reforms and progress and that its relations with Bulgaria are increasingly deepening:

Presidential and parliamentary elections were held once again this year in Ukraine - in a democratic way and in accordance with European standards.

The foreign policy priorities that are enshrined in the Constitution of Ukraine remain unchanged - NATO and European Union membership.

There were significant gains in the economic sphere in the second quarter of this year with growth of 4.6 percent. We expect high results by the end of the year, and our new government has ambitious plans to reach an 8 percent annual growth.

We are convinced that the active process of internal transformation will have a positive impact on the development of Ukraine's international cooperation, including with Bulgaria. There are reasons to expect that in 2019 the trade turnover between Ukraine and Bulgaria will reach $ 1 billion. Such indicators are a direct result of the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, including the deep and comprehensive free trade area with the European Union.

The ambassador said that in recent years the political dialogue between Ukraine and Bulgaria has continued to be active and there are prospects for developing bilateral cooperation in all areas. He expressed gratitude to our country for supporting the rehabilitation of over 200 Ukrainian soldiers injured in Donbass at the Kaleroya Military Hospital in Hisarya, as part of the NATO Trust Fund. He also recalled the numerous historical Bulgarian diaspora in Ukraine and the Ukrainian community in Bulgaria, which are a bridge of friendship between the two peoples.

And then, in the lovely atmosphere of the Boyana residence and its lush, green garden, the guests enjoyed the unique Ukrainian specialties and drinks.

The photos are provided by the Embassy of Ukraine in the Republic of Bulgaria.

Above: H. E. Mr. Vitalii Moskalenko, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the Republic of Bulgaria and diplomats from the Embassy welcoming the guests